Volunteers from Businesses form new Raising Aspirations Mentoring programme

Volunteers from Businesses form new Raising Aspirations Mentoring programme

Potential volunteer mentors from the business community attended a presentation evening to find out more about the ‘Raising Aspirations Mentoring Programme’ which is being piloted at the Wey Valley School.

The aim of the programme is to raise career aspirations, improve confidence and develop self -belief in young people. The scheme has been funded from a successful grant application submitted by The Dorset Community Foundation to The Goldsmiths’ Company. The school are therefore working in partnership with the Dorset Community Foundation and Dorset Youth Association to deliver the programme. If successful it is hoped to replicate this scheme in other schools in deprived areas across Dorset.

Research from the National Mentoring Partnership has demonstrated that mentoring schemes have a positive impact on raising aspirations, attendance and educational attainment for young people aged 14-16. As a result two types of mentoring schemes are being piloted at Wey Valley. This includes a dedicated in school Mentor and the Volunteer Mentor Programme which has recruited volunteers from local businesses.
Mary Hogarth, a former journalist and deputy editor of Writers’ Forum magazine who was at the launch said, “I am delighted to be involved in this pilot mentoring programme with Wey Valley School. As an educator myself I know how important the right support is for young people – it really can mean the difference between success and failure.
This is an excellent initiative and a good example of how to build strategic partnerships between schools and the business community”.

Sara Adams and Anna Hines at the launch

Anna Hines, Progress Mentor at Wey Valley who organised the event said, “The evening was a huge success with all of the volunteers who attended signing up to become Mentors. I am now looking forward to working with them in producing some positive results for the students.”

Sara Adams, Acting Principal at Wey Valley added, “the school is very grateful for the support of the Dorset Community Foundation and the Business mentor volunteers who met with Anna and myself to discuss the programme and how their support with have such a positive impact for our students”.

Dave Thompson Director, Dorset Youth Association said, “My thanks are offered to the Goldsmiths’ company for providing the funding, to the Dorset Community Foundation for attracting much needed funds to Dorset, to The Principal and all staff at the school and to our new Business Mentors who braved the terrible weather to attend.”

For more details on the Raising Aspirations mentoring programme please visit www.dorsetcommunityfoundation.org
if you are interested in finding more about becoming a Volunteer Mentor please contact Anna Hines at the Wey Valley School on 01305 817018.